It is amazing how one or two gallops on the grass really put the finishing touches to the horses, and it really shows as since Present View was just touched off at Cheltenham last week, all the others have been running out of their skin this week - if they haven't won, they have been there or there abouts…..long may it continue.
I was over the moon that Alanjou won at Fontwell on Wednesday - he has always jumped nicely and we’ve been biding our time and waiting to step this 4 year old up in trip and put him over fences. Thankfully the Cherry Pickers patience has paid off and he used his 4 year old allowance to good use and jumped his way into the winners enclosure. The Cherry Pickers are made up out of my old troop in the Kings Royal Hussars, and it was their first winner – so it was a special day.
From Fontwell to Southwell, from Alanjou to Camachoice – who didn’t just win, but he bolted in by a staggering 22 lengths! He was placed in three novice hurdles and making his handicap debut in a visor, he took off and put in a scintillating display. Unfortunately too good really as the handicapper has put him up 20lbs! We’ll have to run him again under a penalty this week – but we might consider sending him chasing with his 4 year old allowance.
I have been pleased with our other runners too. Monbeg Theatre made a very promising hurdling debut at Southwell over an inadequate 2 miles. He finished 2nd in what could be quite adecent novice hurdle. He’ll improve with a step up in trip, and with this run under his belt, so we’re looking forward to the season ahead with him.
Ley Lady Grey stepped up on her previous runs to be 2nd in the mares bumper at Fontwell. I was not only pleased for Fawley House Stud as they deserve some luck, but I was also pleased for Will Featherstone – he was having his first ride for us as our new conditional jockey – and he gave her a peach of a ride. He has ridden three winners under rules and having a 10lbs claimer in the yard should be very useful throughout the season.
Our other runners this week have included Major Milborne who was 3rd on his chase debut at Wincanton – he found the ground a bit quick, and wouldn’t really let himself down on it. Borguy stepped up on previous runs to be 4th in a novice hurdle, and Blackdown Hills was making a very pleasing racecourse debut when she just swallowed her tongue – she’s a lovely filly, who should benefit from her first run.